Musical Care Throughout the Life Course: Introducing the Musical Care International Network


Article published by Neta Spiro, Katie Rose M. Sanfilippo, Bonnie B. McConnell, Georgia Pike-Rowney, Filippo Bonini Baraldi, Bernd Brabec, Kathleen Van Buren, Dave Camlin, Tânya Marques Cardoso, Burçin Uçaner Çifdalöz, Ian Cross, Ben Dumbauld, Mark Ettenberger, Kjetil Falkenberg, Sunelle Fouché, Emma Frid, Jane Gosine, april l. graham-jackson, Jessica A. Grahn, Klisala Harrison, Beatriz Ilari, Sally Mollison, Steven J. Morrison, Gabriela Pérez-Acosta, Rosie Perkins, Jessica Pitt, Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, MICARE’s young researcher Juan-Pablo Robledo, Efrat Roginsky, Caitlin Shaughnessy, Naomi Sunderland, Alison Talmage, Giorgos Tsiris, and Krista de Wit.

The aims of the paper are to better understand the diverse practices, applications, contexts, and impacts of musical care around the globe and introduce the Musical Care International Network. To do this, transcriptions of the recordings from the meetings and notes taken by the hosts were compiled. BM and GPR then summarized the key ideas across all the meetings in connection with the key questions. They grouped these across three key areas: musical care as a context dependent, social phenomenon; where musical care sits within the wider research and practice context; and debates concerning its impact and evidence.



With the original definition that highlighted the wide variety of areas in which musical care can play a role throughout the life course described by Spiro and Sanfilippo (2022), this paper develops our understanding of musical care by highlighting the need to address the many factors connected to musical care practices around the world. Based on these discussions, we can conclude that musical care refers to context-dependent and social phenomena. Indeed, the key threads of context dependency and social aspects ran through much of the discussions.

Throughout the discussions, the term “musical care” was critically considered. Overall, discussants saw the term as helpful in seeking common ground across the various disciplines and practices. This collective identity, and the term’s use in bringing people from across disciplines and geographic areas together, was seen as important in advocacy for the work and professionals in this area, as well as helping to influence and shape policy.